everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

The one about Snoop and the gun bracelets

Ok, so firstly, I need to confess that I didn’t know that Snoop Dogg had changed his name to Snoop Lion. But rest assured, I’ll be looking into it. That aside, I recently saw an interesting post on the Ecouterre website about Snoop Dogg/Lion supporting an MTV initiative to recycle US guns into jewellery. And that sounds like a much better use of the metal to me.

Word, Dogg. Errr, Lion.

Word, Dogg. Errr, Lion.

Jewelry for a Cause is the place where you can buy the limited edition MTV x Caliber bracelet. Here’s how they explain the concept: “The bracelet carries the unique serial number of an illegal firearm turned in to the Newark Police Department during a recent gun buyback. The item is part of the Caliber Collection, a line of jewelry that is made, in part, from the steel of reclaimed illegal guns. Proceeds from each sale of the MTV x Caliber bracelet will be donated to the Newark Police Department to help fund future gun buyback amnesty programs in Newark, NJ.”

The MTV x Caliber limited edition bracelet.

One of the MTV x Caliber limited edition bracelets.

That’s the special MTV bracelet – not really made of recycled guns, but featuring the serial number of a gun that’s no longer on the streets, which is still very cool. But the story is even better for other jewellery in the Caliber Collection – they use actual ‘guns and bullet casings seized by law enforcement’ to make their pieces, some with added diamonds to up the bling factor.

Much prettier than a gun - brass with eight little diamonds (and the number of the Newark gun it came from).

So much prettier – brass with eight little diamonds (and the number of the Newark gun it came from).

You can check out the full Caliber Collection at the Jewelry for a Cause site here.

And back to Ecouterre – if you haven’t checked it out, it’s a pretty interesting site: ‘your online guide to the best ideas, innovations and emerging trends in eco fashion, sustainable style, organic beauty and ethical apparel’. It’s here.

Oh, and if you want to read more about Snoop Lion, his Wikipedia page is here.

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Taxidermy with a difference

A recent sale at Fab.com shared the work of C.G.Sparks (no relation) with the caption ‘artful animal-free taxidermy’. A niche market, to be sure. But I do like these wall trophies, celebrating someone’s skill with recycled rope and creative accessories rather than someone’s skill with a powerful weapon aimed at an animal just chillaxing in the woods. And although I’ve not yet seen a bear or lion or elephant in the wild, I’m tipping these ropey versions come in much cooler colours.

The C.G. Sparks version of a deer.  [image from fab.com]

The deer, according to C.G. Sparks.
[image from fab.com]

The mountain lion. Still scary, even in rope form. [image from fab.com]

The mountain lion. Still scary, even in rope form.
[image from fab.com]

Say what? Nah, it's not ivory - it's 'medium density fibreboard'. Phew. [image from fab.com]

Say what? Nah, it’s not ivory – it’s ‘medium density fibreboard’. Phew.
[image from fab.com]

You can check out other cool things via the curated sales at fab.com here – and although I can’t find these taxidermy friends on the C.G. Sparks website, they do have lots of other pretty great stuff (they call it ‘furniture with soul’) for your home here.

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Whistle While You Walk

This isn’t really a book club, I just wanted to show you this excerpt from the book I’m currently reading on how to pack for the Camino de Santiago. I hadn’t expected there to be so much to learn about the topic, but it’s quite a long book. Like a lot of the reading I’ve done about the Camino, it’s super-informative, but parts of it are slightly disturbing.

Sounds like a plan.

Sounds like a plan.

Just look at that dude on the cover, trotting along the Way, with a little bird helping lift the burden of his (already tiny) backpack. Happy days on the Camino, yes? Well, not every day, if page 106 of this book is to be believed. I’m off to buy a whistle. Or a high-tech sound device.

Yikes.

Yikes.

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Oh, Boston

Such a beautiful place. Such great people. Such a horrible thing to happen. Thinking of you, Boston – we only met last year, but I love ya and my heart is a bit broken today.

The giant flag hanging from the glass atrium in the JFK Library.

The giant flag hanging from the glass atrium in the JFK Library.

Lagoon in the Public Garden.

Lagoon in the Public Garden.

A beautiful day at the State House.

A beautiful day at the State House.

Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden

Boston Common

Boston Common

From JFK Library

From JFK Library

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View from the Bridge

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in Sydney and I was meeting my great friend ELW and one of her (very lovely) sons in Darlinghurst, one of Sydney’s inner city suburbs where the cool crowd crosses paths with the homeless crowd & ladies-of-the-night crowd. We were having breakfast so, in true Camino training style, I thought I would walk from my home on the north side to make the most of the beautiful day. And get in an 8.5km walk before breakfast.

Here are some pics from my walk across the Harbour Bridge. The view is pretty spectacular and I committed to walking that way more often to check out our pretty city. If you’ve not done it before (or not for a while), I really recommend that you do.

Our House

Our House

Our House, as seen through the Harbour Bridge fencing

Our House, as seen through the Harbour Bridge fencing

Looking up

Looking up

It looks like a cage, but I promise it doesn't really feel like it

It looks like a cage, but I promise it doesn’t really feel like it

Looking out to the Heads

Looking out to the Heads

And there's (part of) the city

And there’s (part of) the city

It reminds me of the Dr Seuss book…DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?

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Friday Foto – a crazy cake

Happy Friday! I mentioned earlier in the week our trip to the Sydney Royal Easter Show and looking through my photos of the day, I’m sure it’ll become a post next week. In the meantime though, here’s a cake from the prestigious cake decorating competition at the Show.

There were some incredible entries in the competition and we had to remind ourselves that the amazing creations were actually cakes and not sculptures. As for this one – it looked so much like the real thing, it caught the attention of everyone who passed. An amazingly talented person made this giant cake – I’m just not sure why…

Uh huh.

Uh huh.

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A gummi lunch

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show with some of my peeps. I love the Show, but hadn’t been for many years. It was a very fun day – adults have full permission to act like kids, everyone consumes waaaay too much junk food and suddenly us city folk become instant experts in everything from dairy cattle to alpacas to bull riding and cake decorating. And then there are the infamous show bags.

Showtime

Showtime

With security guys outside each entry and exit point of the giant Showbag Pavillion and a maze of fences and railings to herd people through the entrance (just like the cattle in the pavillion down the street), the kids are always a-buzz and the adults are all exchanging looks of dread. Inside, it was crazy. A mass of humanity, hundreds and hundreds of people of all shapes & sizes crammed in together trying to get a showbag and get out. Except for those people who stopped in the middle of the traffic, just gazing from one display to another, philosophising over the relative merits of the My Little Pony showbag over the Moshi Monsters showbag. No one likes those amateurs – they generally get a sharp elbow in the ribs to jolt them out of their reverie and encourage a quick decision. (I didn’t do any elbow-ing, I promise.)

Anyways, I did join in and get a Trolli show bag full of gummi treats – it was the only lolly show bag that included items that were so obscure that I couldn’t work out if the showbag price was a rip off. (My familiarity with chocolate prices had me scanning those Cadbury bags and saying wise old-lady things like, “$10? We could buy all that at the supermarket for $7.50. Outrageous!”)

So, I had a look inside the showbag this morning and discovered that lunch today was sorted – every detail taken care of by the good people at Trolli with my gummi lunch. As healthy and natural in gummi form as the real thing. Amazing. Bon appetit!

 

My gummi lunch bag, packed full of treats.

My gummi lunch bag, packed full of treats.

GummiPizza

There’s Gummi Pizza, seemingly prepared by a chef from Super Mario Bros…

And a gummi hot dog, bursting with colour.

And a gummi hot dog, bursting with colour.

And a mini gummi burger, looking eerily like the real thing.

And a mini gummi burger, looking eerily like the real thing.

And of course, sour gummi fries.

And of course, sour gummi fries.

And to wash it all down, a gummi cola. They've thought of everything!

And to wash it all down, a gummi cola. They’ve thought of everything!

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Who you gonna call, possum?

The other day, I was driving behind a truck featuring a business name that caught my eye. Then I pulled up a little closer and saw the logo. Genius.

Who you gonna call?

Who you gonna call?

A classic Australian problem – our kiwi cousins do have possums, of course, but seemingly they are not obliged to treat them like small furry gods, they can turn them into mittens and scarves and winter coats without any social (or legal) stigma. Still, I guess the sounds of possums in the trees and the roof are part of living in an Australian house – pests they may be, but they’re our pests.

Anyways, the Possum Busters website does not disappoint. They are clearly very passionate about the work that they do – offering humane possum removal and even a free possum advice hotline. I bet they get some hilarious calls. There’s a page of FAQs, which are all very interesting, starting with the following warning as an answer to what I’m tipping is the most Frequently Asked Question by residents who haven’t slept for weeks due to their possum terrorist:

Q. Do you / can you / can I kill the possum?
A. No, it is against the law. They are a protected species.

And then there’s this fun fact about possums, which is why the Busters also offer a roof repair service and a 12 month guarantee once they remove a possum from your home:

Q. Can you take the possum away?
A. No, we can only remove it 25m from where we catch it. It is a territorial animal and will die if taken out side of its territory.

25 metres isn’t actually that far, is it? In most suburban areas, it’s probably only a couple of houses down the street, which presumably means that the Busters will get a call from Bill & Betty at number 15 a couple of weeks after the possum problem has shifted from your place to theirs.

Anyways, the website is worth a look if you’re interested in finding out more about this unique service – they also have a gallery of pics of possums they’ve discovered in cupboards, baths (imagine!) and roof cavities. The website is here.

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Calm down, breakfast

I love breakfast. I think it’s partly genetic – my mum can be slightly obsessive about breakfast cereals and is always on the hunt for the latest and greatest. It would not be uncommon for my mum to spend some time talking about the breakfasts after they’ve been away on holidays. (Very nice muesli in New Zealand, apparently, and Grape Nuts from the USA are favourites.)

Anyways, this morning as I had my breakfast, I was a bit overwhelmed by the product promises. Who knew that a simple granola and yoghurt breakfast could be so, like, totally awesome? It’s all a bit much before I’ve even had coffee…(The granola is actually fantastic, by the way – it does almost live up to the hype.)

Not just granola, it's granOHLAAH. And, yes, I have started backflipping like that on the way to the bus stop most mornings.

Not just granola, it’s granOHLAAH. And, yes, I have started backflipping like that on the way to the bus stop most mornings.

Like, totally!

Like, totally!

Even the fibre is fabulous.

Even the fibre is fabulous.

I can't confirm that (a) this yoghurt is actually made with love or (b) it has the world's best taste. Pretty sure it's organic though.

I can’t confirm that (a) this yoghurt is actually made with love or (b) it has the world’s best taste. Pretty sure it is organic though.

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Friday Foto – Things I never thought I’d own…

Happy Friday to you! I was very excited to receive a package from Kathmandu this morning. (That’s the big Australian outdoor retailer, not the capital of Nepal.) We started our Camino trekking training last weekend with a fantastic 18km round trip from The Spit to Manly. I wanted to take photos of the bzillion beautiful spots along the way, but I didn’t want to mess with our momentum. Next time.

Anyways, this walk made me realise that I need some more outdoorsy trekking gear if I want to do this thing properly. So, in the first of what I’m sure will be many, here’s a pic of something that I have bought that I never thought I’d own in this lifetime. It’s a 2 litre water bladder. So I don’t have to carry pesky water bottles and stop to drink – no way man, now I can just suck water through this tube and KEEP ON TREKKIN’.

Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn't leak through my backpack...

Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn’t leak through my backpack…

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